The Los Angeles Lakers held their first NBA Summer League practice on Monday afternoon at the team’s practice facility in El Segundo. D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson all took part in the practice with last year’s lottery pick getting the most praised from his teammates.
According to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters, Russell was impressed with Randle’s presence in the paint:
D'Angelo Russell called Julius Randle a "beast," Larry Nance was surprised by Randle's strength, Clarkson said he's a monster w/ the ball
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) July 6, 2015
After missing 81 games in his rookie season due to a leg injury, Randle has been anxious to get back to work to prove his worth to the organization. Randle began putting in work on the basketball floor before last season ended.
Russell also believes Randle will be a major part of the offense and possibly the focal point, via Lakers Twitter:
Russell on Randle: "He's a go-to player. He'll be open a lot of times and not even know it. And I'll find him and make it easier on him."
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 6, 2015
Although Randle wasn’t able to suit up and play a few more games in his rookie campaign, the Kentucky product gave a little bit of a preview of what to expect. Randle debuted a leaner look with some impressive quickness while working out with the coaching staff before the Lakers would take the floor.
Heading into the NBA Summer League, all eyes will be on Russell with high expectations for the Ohio State standout. Randle will also receive a lot of attention, especially if he’s already turning heads in practice.